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Process Diagnosis of Learning Disabilities and Remedial Teaching


Admission requirements

Master students Psychology with specialisation Child and Adolescent Psychology. This course is complementary to the skills course Advanced Psycho-diagnostics that is predominantly oriented towards a psychometric approach. This course will especially be useful for students who intend to work in a school setting (e.g. schools advisory services).


The topics of this master’s course are learning disabilities and remedial teaching. Learning disabilities often go hand in hand with cognitive and social-emotional developmental disorders. In fact, learning disabilities may cause a delay in cognitive development. Conversely, developmental disorders (e.g. a slow intellectual development or ADHD) may impede learning processes and eventually crystallize out into a learning disability. Consequently, developmental psychologists in various institutions should have basic knowledge of the nature, the assessment, and the re-mediation of learning disabilities. This master’s course covers practice-based literature and examples, and offers hands-on experience with in-depth process analysis of learning difficulties.

Two topics are emphasized:

  • Learning to detect learning disabilities through cognitive process diagnosis. This means that first a cognitive task analysis must be performed, through which the prerequisite knowledge and skills for performing the task are identified. Also motivational and social emotional processes must be recognized if they either support or hinder the learning process. The information from this task analysis can be used as a template to compare the student’s learning behaviour in order to detect specific failures in the student’s knowledge and skills, on both the cognitive and affective level.

  • Remedial teaching pertains to the knowledge of effective intervention methods (for different domains like reading, writing, and maths), based on the information that has been gathered from process diagnosis of specific learning disabilities. A second aspect of remedial teaching concerns effect evaluations of interventions with individual students.

Course objectives

  • The acquisition of knowledge about learning disabilities and learning problems

  • the acquisition of elementary, practical skills for process diagnosis of those disabilities and problems

  • and the acquisition of knowledge on how to undertake remedial intervention and to evaluate the effects of those interventions.


Process Diagnosis of Learning Disabilities and Remedial Teaching (2011-2012):

Mode of instruction

The course has the form of a work group. Partly, the instruction will take the format of tutorials with active student participation. On the other hand, students have to give presentations, have to come up with interesting learning problems from the literature, and have to design intervention programs for resolving learning problems.

Assessment method

  • Examination with essay questions

  • Written individual reports

  • Presentations

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

  • Shaywitz, S. (2005). Hulpgids dyslexie. Amsterdam: Nieuwezijds.
    (or the English version: Shaywitz, S. (2003). Overcoming dyslexia. New York: Vintage Books.)

  • Reader with a broad range of articles.

Master’s introduction and enrolment day

Make a reservation in your agenda so you will not miss any information that you will need during your master’s programme MSc in Psychology. Please consult the Agenda master meetings

Contact information

Dr. M.V.J. Veenman
Monday – Wednesday: room 3B42
Telephone +31 71 527 3463